The diversity of landscape is remarkable in a county just 82km from east to west and 44 km, north to south. In terms of character and atmosphere, Waterford can be divided into a number of remarkably different experiences.
The peninsulas each side of the county are both beautiful but quite different in character.
West of Dungarvan is a wild and beautiful peninsula containing the historic seaside resort of Ardmore and The Gaeltacht, a unique Gaelic speaking area. South-East of Waterford City is the East Waterford Gaultier Coast, a peninsula with a distinct Anglo-Norman character, containing the seaside resort of Dunmore East.
The Celtic Sea, that part of the Atlantic which touches and shapes the Waterford coast, has created a coastline of rugged beauty and contains one of the leading seaside resorts in the country at Tramore and the smaller, popular resorts at Annestown, Bunmahon, Stradbally and Clonea.
Two Mountain Ranges
The Comeragh/Monavullagh range of very accessible mountains are the spine of the county, with superb leisure facilities in the mountain resort of Ballymacarbry. They stretch from the coast near Dungarvan inland as far as Clonmel.
The Knockmealdown Mountains form the north-west boundary of the county, served from Lismore, Cappoquin and Ballyduff.
Then there are the beautiful river valleys shaped principally by the rivers Suir and Blackwater along which are with a myriad of lovely rivers and streams.
The River Suir
Rising in the Devils Bit Mountains the River Suir flows through the limestone country formaing a natural border between South Tipperary and Waterford.
It reaches the sea at Dunmore East, between the headlands of Hook and Crook.
In September 2001, under the auspices of UNESCO, European Geopark status was awarded to the stretch of coast from Tramore in the east to Dungargan on the west, Co. Waterford - more specifically between Fenor and Kilfarrasy in the east to Stradbally in the west and up to Dunhill in the north. www.coppercoastgeopark.com
The Copper Coast gets its name from the 19th Century copper mines that lie at its heart. The park includes 25 kilometres of spectacular coastline. The rocks of the Copper Coast record geological events over 460 millions years
A Geological Park was built in Bonmahon in 1999, with help from Waterford County Council and in association with the Bonmahon Heritage Society. In the same year the Mining Heritage Centre was opened in Bonmahon telling the story of mining in Bonmahon and the surrounding areas.
The cliffs west of Bunmahon were mined for lead, silver and copper in the 18th century. Rocks include: Shale | Andesite | Rhyolite | Limestone | Sandstone
see also:- Stradbally, Bunmahon, Fenor, Tramore
Geopark Opening hours
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9.30am - 5pm. Tel. 051-292828
Walks within the Copper Coast Geopark
Information on self guided walks in the Copper Coast Geopark is availabvle in pdf format on the park's web site. You can download the trail cards, with
maps and photos and explore the Copper Coast by yourself. If you would like to explore some of the locations with a
guide walks are organised throughout the summer
with their team of local guides.
The development of the Geopark is supported by the European Geoparks Network. The European Geoparks Network itself was developed under the auspices of UNESCO in 2000 by its founder members in France, Germany, Spain and Greece.
Since August 2006 there are 26 territories across Europe are designated as European Geoparks. They all use and promote their geological heritage and facets of other heritage (archeology, culture, fauna & flora) as a tool for a sustainable development of tourism on their own territory. UNESCO launched the "Global Geoparks Network" in 2004 to reflect recognition of 8 geoparks in China.
European Geoparks Network
||Réserve Géologique de Haute Provence, Digne, website
Astroblème - Châtaigneraie Limousine, website
Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon, website
||Maestrazgo Cultural Parc, website
Cabo de Gata, Nijar Natural Park, Andalucia, website
Sierras Subbeticas Natural Park, Andalucia, website
Sobrarbe Geopark, Aragon, website
||Naturtejo Geopark, website
||Rocca di Cerrere, Sicily, website
Parco della Madonia, Sicily, website
Parco Beigua, Liguria, website
||Petrified Forest, Lesvos, website
Psiloritis Natural Park, Crete, website
||Vulkaneifel, Rheinland-Pfalz, website
TERRA Vita, Niedersachsen / Nord Rhein Westphalen, website
Bergstraße-Odenwald, Hessen, website
Nationaler GeoPark Schwäbische Alb , Bavaria, website
- (20) Braunschweiger Land - Harz - Ostfalen, website
Mecklenburg Ice Age Park, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, website
||Kulturpark Kamptal, Lower Austria, website
Naturpark Eisenwurzen, Steiermark, website
Hateg Country Dinosaur Geopark, website
||Bohemian Paradise Geopark, website
||Gea Norvegica, website
||Marble Arch Caves European Geopark, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, website
North Pennines AONB Geopark, England, website
Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark, Wales, website
North West Highland, Assynt, Scotland, website
Parc Daearegol Fforest Fawr, Wales, website
||Copper Coast European Geopark, Co. Waterford, website
1. Huangshan Mountain National Geopark, Anhui, web
2. Lushan National Geopark, Jiangxi Province, web
3. Yuntaishan Mountain National Geopark, web
4. Shilin Stone Forest Natioanl Geopark, Yunnan Province, web
5. Danxia Mountain National Geopark, Guangdong, web
6. Zhangjiajie Sandstone Peak Forest National Geopark, Hunan Province, web
7. Wudalianchi Volcanoes National Geopark, Heilongjiang Province, web
8. Songshan National Geopark, Henan Province web
9. Yandangshan National Geopark, Zhejiang Province, web
10. Taining Geopark, Fujian Province, web
11. Hexigten Geopark, web
12. Xingwen Karst National Geopark, Sichuan Province, web